Dubai Airport is on track to overtake Singapore Changi Airport in 2008, in terms of total annual passenger traffic. Dubai is expected break the 40 million passenger barrier in 2008, after handling 34.3 million passengers in 2007, up 19.2% year-on-year - and well above the targeted 33 million passengers.
Source: Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation
Dubai is one of the fastest growing international hubs, thanks to Emirates’ explosive growth. The airport’s busiest month last year was August, when it handled 3.3 million passengers, while October recorded the highest growth rate at 29.9%.
President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Chairman of Dubai Airports, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, stated the growth reflected Dubai's robust economy and its "rising popularity as an international commercial and tourism hub”.
Middle East airports as a group reported 18.9% international passenger traffic growth for the 11 months ended Nov-07, according to ACI, with total traffic rising 17.7%, welll above the global average increases of 7.4% and 5.7%, respectively.
Abu Dhabi International Airport has outperformed Dubai, with passenger traffic growth in 2007 expected to come in well above 30%.
But with such rapid growth comes inevitable challenges. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, stated the opening of the new terminal at Dubai and associated facilities later this year, as part of a USD4.5 billion expansion, means the airport will have the capacity to handle increasing throughput, while work is ongoing to maximise the use of physical infrastructure to optimise the airport's performance.